5 Tips For Being Frugal
by Hannah Keeley
We could talk all day about the gloom and doom of the economy, but we’re moms. When the going gets tough, we get tougher! When other people sit around bellyaching, we roll up our sleeves and do something about it! If you’re looking for ways to tighten up the budget then look no further. Here are the top five ways to cut back without living less…
#1—Turn your trash into cash. You may very well be sitting on some serious moolah with all of the stuff you have piled away. Hold a yard sale or sell some items on eBay. You may also want to take the easy road and donate everything and claim the deduction on your taxes. If you’re having a hard time parting with items just think about it this way—you are giving yourself more square footage in your home and more money in your bank account. That’s a win/win if I’ve ever heard of one.
#2—Go secondhand shopping. I try to buy used items as much as possible for two reasons: 1) it’s lots cheaper and 2) it’s helping the environment. You can feel good about saving money and not adding a bunch of packaging to landfills. I bought our bedroom furniture used through Craigslist and it was a steal! Solid oak king bed, dresser with mirror, and nightstand for less than $1000. I have also taught my kids to do this. When my son wanted an iPod, he looked at the store and saw that they were $200. He then looked for a used one online and found one for $75. He saved a bunch of money by shopping used. That was about 18 months ago and he decided last month that he wanted to update his model. So, taking principle #1, he sold his old one to me for $30. Do you realize what that means? He enjoyed an iPod for a year and a half for only $45! What a bargain!
#3—Buy in bulk. With a family of nine, I couldn’t really shop any other way. But I’ve been bulk buying since we were a family of five. No matter what size family you are shopping for, bulk buying is a great way to cut expenses. There are three tips you need to know before you even step into a club warehouse. 1) Only buy the items that you already use. In other words, just because the gourmet dried porcini mushrooms is a good price, you don’t want to buy them if you’ve never used them before. Opt for the old standbys instead, like cans of ketchup or bags of pasta. 2) Don’t fall for the displays. This is a method that club warehouses often use to push sales. If you’re not careful, you’ll go in for some potatoes and come out with a kayak. 3) Avoid packaged junk food. Warehouse stores are full of these items, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bargain. Junk food is never a good buy. It’s too much packaging, too little nutrition.
#4—Get creative. C’mon Mama, you’re smart! Use those brains and get your creative juices flowing. Before you buy something, ask yourself, “Do I have something I can use instead?” For example, I needed a dish scrubber the other day so I got a mesh bag that my oranges came in (from the bulk shopping warehouse), wadded it up, and wrapped it in a rubberband that came off of a bunch of broccoli I bought at the store. There! I had the perfect dish scrubber (and it actually works, too!). Before you whip out the debit card, look around and be creative.
#5—Use “grandma’s motto.” I’ve made an inner mantra out of the saying, “Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do or do without.” This little diddy applies to about every area of spending. For example, consider dinnertime. You can buy a ham from the warehouse store and use it as a side for one dinner. Then you can chop up the leftover ham to add to a quiche for the next night’s dinner. On day three, you can use the bone to flavor a bean and vegetable soup. Squeeze as much value as you can from your purchases. What about a pair of jeans? Your son can wear the jeans until they get too short on him. Then you can cut them off for shorts. After he grows out of them, use the scraps to make a handbag for your little girl or a potpourri hot pad as a gift for a friend. All in all, Grandma sure knew what she was talking about!
Hannah Keeley was once in overwhelmed mom living in a cluttered house, deep in debt, out of shape, and barely hanging on. But one day, after finding herself sobbing uncontrollably into a pile of clean laundry, she realized God has bigger and better plans for her (just like He does for each one of His children). Beginning that day, she began making changes in her life that took her from overwhelmed to overjoyed. Today, she’s helping moms do the same. Hannah, her husband, Blair, and their seven children live in Richmond, Virginia, and are having the time of their lives!
Check out Hannah’s Website Here!